98 cooling issues
First let me say i'm new here and this is my first post.....so hello everyone. I am having issues with my 98 Dakota and I am looking for some advice. I am not too good at diagnosing, but if told what needs to be done, I can usually figure out how to do it. This may get a bit long, so please forgive me.
A couple of years ago, my brake lines ruptured and I changed those. But ever since then my speedometer doesn't work, and I cant get the ABS light to go out. My emergency brake light will not go off either. When I changed the brake lines I also changed the rear shoes, but did it wrong and they rubbed. So I took it to a mechanic and he said I had the shoes flip flopped. Anyways, I took it to him and he got the brakes working properly, but the ABS light and emergency brake lights will not go off. I have a check engine light on as well, but I had that checked and was told my speedo sensor needs to be changed....so that explains that. I only tell this stuff because I dont know if it is related to my current problem. I wouldn't think so, but you never know. Now to my current problem...I have no heat coming into the cabin, my radiator fan runs constantly right after start-up and my engine never goes up to operating temperature. Last year I had a huge coolant leak in my drive way (this was months after the heat stopped working). It looked like there was oil in the coolant as well, but I thought maybe that just came off the outside of the engine as the coolant ran down. I took the car to a mechanic and said I thought maybe I blew a head gasket , or had a cracked head. He checked it over and said the head was good, and that I had a hole in my oil filter. So he pressurized the cooling system and there was no leaks...so he topped off coolant and sent me on my way. My questions are, why is my fan running whenever the engine is running, what caused my coolant leak, and why wont my engine reach operating temperature? As for the no heat, i am going to try the reverse flush, but it seems like there is more going on there. Will a successful back flush fix the other problems as well?
Sorry about the long, rambling post, but I am a horrible writer and I just wanted to say everything that is going on. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks everyone.